Updated: 9 October 2013

The ATSB is finalising its draft report, which will be sent to directly involved parties (DIP) in October 2013. Feedback from those parties on the factual accuracy of the draft report over the 28‑day DIP period will be considered for inclusion in the final report, which is anticipated to be released to the public in December 2013.



Updated: 17 April 2013

The investigation is continuing into the collision with terrain involving de Havilland DH‑84 Dragon, registered VH-UXG, which occurred 36 km south-west of Gympie, Queensland on 1 October 2012.

The ATSB has reviewed numerous witness reports and radio recordings, and it appears that the aircraft flew a roughly direct course from Monto before encountering what the pilot described to air traffic control (ATC) as ‘full cloud’ about 2 hours into the flight. The evidence at this stage indicates that the aircraft flew around the Borumba Dam, Imbil, and Kandanga areas for about an hour, probably mostly in or around cloud that would typically be described as instrument meteorological conditions. 

Radio and radar coverage in the area was limited. As such, ATC was unable to direct the pilot to an area of known visual conditions because of the extent of the cloud cover and uncertainty over the aircraft’s position. 

To date, there are no indications of an aircraft malfunction. However, the ATSB has retained the aircraft wreckage in case of a need for further examination. Several items and components that were retrieved from the accident site have been examined, including some aircraft instruments. Data was successfully downloaded from an aircraft GPS receiver that was found among the aircraft wreckage, but it did not contain information pertinent to the accident flight. 

Following a burn-off of the area and a period of heavy rain, three ATSB investigators returned to the accident site to search for another GPS receiver that was known to be installed in the aircraft. This GPS was not found but investigators located the instrument face of the aircraft’s vertical speed indicator (Figure 1), which may provide further evidence.

Figure 1: Face of vertical speed indicator

Speed indicator face of the de Havilland DH 84 Dragon 

The investigation is continuing and will include examination of the:

  • air traffic radar and radio recordings
  • aircraft wreckage and instruments
  • aircraft’s maintenance records
  • emergency response
  • weather information
  • witness reports.

A final report is scheduled for release in October 2013. 

The information contained in this web update is released in accordance with section 25 of the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003 and is derived from the initial investigation of the occurrence. Readers are cautioned that new evidence will become available as the investigation progresses that will enhance the ATSB's understanding of the accident as outlined in this web update. As such, no analysis or findings are included in this update.